Lab Members

Ben Heddy

Benjamin Heddy is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma in the Instructional Psychology and Technology program. Benjamin received his Ph.D. in Urban Education from the University of Southern California. Currently, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the topics of motivation, cognition, learning theory, human development and research methods. His research program focuses on cognitive and motivational aspects of learning; including engagement, academic emotions, interest development, and further specializing in the investigation of learning activities that occur in everyday experience. As a second related line of research he studies the mechanisms of conceptual, emotion, and attitude change. His research has been published in Science Education and Psychology Today. Benjamin is currently serving as the Chair of the Committee for the Development of Early Career Educational Psychologists for Division 15 of the American Psychological Association. He has been selected to serve on the Coalition for Psychology in Schools in Education for the American Psychological Association. He won the OU Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education Graduate Student Mentoring Award for 2017.

John Chancey

Born and raised in the metro Oklahoma City area. Currently, I am in my 1st year as a doctoral student in the Instructional Psychology and Technology (IPT) program. My current research interests are focused on transformative experience, self-regulated learning, and mindfulness. Prior to joining the IPT program, I received a M.Ed in Secondary Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, I taught three years of high school AP Psychology at Putnam City North High School.

LaVonya Bennett

Born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma, I received my BA in Psychology with a minor in African and African American Studies from OU. I received my Masters in Human Relations Counseling with a social justice emphasis, also from OU. I am currently a 3rd year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. My research focuses on insidious trauma, health psychology, activism, campus diversity efforts and ethics with particular regard to marginalized populations. Additionally, I have taught in Human Relations and Freshman Programs from approximately eight years, served as a Directorate member for the Coalition of Women's Identities and have written for NewBlackMan in Exie, For Harriet, CounterPunch, and more. But, if I am not engaging in advocacy work or counseling, I love watching my (self-proclaimed) biopic, Insecure by Issa Rae.



Ashley Ullrich

I was born in Tulsa and obtained a Bachelor's of music education at the University of Oklahoma. I got my start teaching young musicians how to play oboe. Around this time, I also began a small board game night with fellow musicians and educators. As we watched our students grow as musicians, we saw them struggle with stage fright and self-doubt while playing, so we made it into a game. Through collaborative story-telling techniques common to Dungeons & Dragons, my students and I would build a dialogue through duets, music, and world building, complete with funny voices. I am currently studying educational psychology to better understand how we can foster a healthy group-environment that encourages self-efficacy, creativity and a healthy performance habits through collaborative game play.

Ahmet Başyiğit

Ahmet Başyiğit was born in Bursa, Turkey. Ahmet is PhD student in Educational Psychology department, specifically Instructional Psychology and Technology at the University of Oklahoma, and also at the Religious Education department at Ankara University. He worked as a religious culture and moral knowledge teacher for four years and is currently an Assistant Expert at the Ministry of National Education in Turkey. His academic interest is with values/character education in early childhood. His goal is to develop a program that helps young children to build their character so they are able to fulfill their full potential. His current research interests include motivation and technology use in education.

Kelly Ross

A native Oklahoman, I received a B.A. in Letters from the University of Oklahoma and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. After spending a semester teaching a success course for freshman, I became passionate about understanding why some students make the successful transition to college and some do not, and decided to return to OU to pursue a doctoral degree in the field of Educational Psychology. As a second year doctoral student in the Instructional Psychology & Technology program, my current research interests are related to issues of belonging, academic identity, and motivation in first-year, first generation students. I also work full-time as Manager of Faculty Support and Instructional Design at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Diana Meek

Originally from Texas, I received a B.A. in English and History from the University of Texas and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. I taught high school English at Guthrie High School before beginning as a doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma. My current research interests are epistemic cognition and classroom climate.

Alexandra Stroukoff

As a second-year doctoral student, I am excited to continue my studies in in-service teacher growth, transformative experiences in teachers, and teacher growth impacts on student outcomes. What keeps me awake at night is what is happening in schools and overall policies that either support teacher growth and professionalism or inhibits it. I am also excited to hang onto as much of my personal life as I can, including being a group fitness instructor and playing board games with friends. My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and my master’s is in Educational Administration and Curriculum Supervision from the University of Oklahoma. I taught middle school math and high school Chemistry and Geometry in Ardmore City Schools for four years, and Chemistry at Harding Charter Prep HS for one year.

Lindsey A. Hopp

Coming from Elgin, Illinois, I went to Elgin Community College before transferring to the University of Oklahoma to pursue a BA in Secondary Social Studies Education. Having always had an interest in psychology, I became fascinated with the field that combined my two favorite subjects: education and psychology. Throughout my time as a college student, I have worked with transfer, first-generation and international students to learn and aid the transition for students into their least restrictive environments. Leading into my final semester this Fall, I will be student teaching through Del City School Districts to finish my BA. My interests within the research field are that of gamification, metacognition, self-regulated learning and how cultural factors change motivation and cognition within the classroom.

Murat Turk

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, I am a Ph.D student in the Instructional Psychology and Technology program and also a Fulbright scholar. Although my research interests encompass a multitude of topics and themes within the field, ranging from instructional design practices to online learning to flipped learning to cognitive and motivational/social tools to Web 2.0 technologies utilized and harnessed in various content domains to support human learning and performance across diverse settings and contexts, my primary research areas include but are not limited to the impacts of using asynchronous video tools and other interactive, collaborative, and user-controlled Web 2.0 tools in online learning environments on learner motivation and academic achievement. My ambition is to devise pedagogical models that will prescribe practical principles for practitioners to employ in their fields to improve their learners’ motivation and learning achievement.

MOVElab alumni

Jacqueline Goldman

Jackie is an alumni of the University of Oklahoma and current Assistant Professor of Psychology at Delta State University. Her research has been focused on metacognitive strategy use, transformative experience, and motivation. Her research projects have involved analyses of how students engage in course material in meaningful ways and how that may affect their motivation for academia, emotions, as well as their identity. She also gives special focus on students who are struggling through their academic careers due to insufficient knowledge on effective study methods, or little support from home due to being first generation college students. Her passion lies in finding ways in which we as educators can provide resources and assistance to students who do not have access or do not know how to access opportunities for educational growth.